Mike Williams


/ Backpacking in Laurel Highlands

Backpacking in Laurel Highlands

Trip to the Laurel Highlands during COVID pandemic for some socially distanced backpacking and other adventures.

*some pictures aren't mine, but are from a shared album

Everything needed for backpacking, plus an extra duffel bag.
Why hike 30+ miles when you can see all the pretty trees from your car?
Day 1 started with a lot of uphill, then a lot of downhill,then a lot of uphill, and finally a smaller downhill into the campsite. If I remember right, it was around 700' up, 700' down, 700' up, 200' down.
Rain was in the forecast, so we all had our rain covers on our packs. Luckily we didn't end up getting any rain!
Most of the time we were hiking through forest so there weren't a lot of views, but sometimes we'd find a nice clearing.
We were comfortable hiking in 40-50F weather, but layered up while hanging at camp.
We made it to campsite #1! This is one of the 3-walled shelters available for reserving. We did not reserve one for tonight.
A view of our whole campsite for night 1
"we figured out a way to sit comfortably on our 2-legged chairs, watch!"
too far apart
almost there
so comfortable
we'll keep our 4-legged chairs...
Whittling the walking stick. Did I mention we forgot our trekking poles in the trunk? We had a simultaneous moment of realization in the shuttle from our cars to the trailhead, but it was too late to go back. Hiking sticks worked alright though!
Definitely comfortable.
Fire masters -- using the chairs as fans.
Dinner, night 1 - ramen.
Dinner elsewhere around the fire
Day 1 was up ~700 feet, down ~700 feet, and then up ~800 feet. At the very end, they put the campsite down ~200 feet, which meant we got to start day 2 with a bonus 200 foot ascent! Followed by another ~600 feet or so. It was a brutal start to the day, but at least it warmed us up.
Halfway up, taking a break
At least someone was happy.
Those are insulated camp moccasins strapped to my pack. Caroline and I panic-bought them when the forecast turned from ~70 to ~45 (with lows in the high 20s), and they were excellent.
Sometime after making it up our morning ascent
mesmerizing gif of our neverending march (might take a while to load)
There were a bunch of these and I thought they looked cool
Lots of cool boulders
You shall not pass!
clearly into it
Found a nice spot to stop for lunch
Doing it for the gram
Uh oh, spotted